2 in 5 Brits considering refurbed phone, claims USwitch


    • More than 22 million mobile customers are considering getting a refurbished phone, which could save them a combined £2 billion on buying new
    • Over a million Brits bought a refurbished device in the last year, with those aged 18-34 the most likely to choose one
    • Phone owners say they’re motivated to pick refurbished handsets due to the desire to go green, expense of buying new and the cost-of-living crisis
    • Despite passing the same quality checks as a new device, 39% of mobile users still say they wouldn’t buy refurbished phones with fault fears their chief concern
    • Consumers can get a premium refurbished iPhone 11 for £14 per month, saving £90 over the same 24-month contract on a new handset

More than 22 million savvy Brits are considering a refurbished mobile phone when the time comes to buying their next handset  — saving a combined total of £2 billion compared to buying a new device, according to Uswitch.com, the comparison and switching service.

A refurbished phone usually refers to an ex-display or pre-owned handset that has been sent back due to a fault and has been repaired for resale. 

Picking a refurbished phone is also a more sustainable choice, as it helps to cut down on the amount of electronic waste. Buying a refurbished iPhone 11, rather than a brand new device, can also help to prevent 194g of electronic waste.

A third of people (34%) considering buying a refurbished phone are motivated by the need to make more green decisions. Over a million savvy, eco-conscious mobile users have already made the switch and bought a refurbished device in the last yea, proving to be particularly popular with young people aged 18-34.

The current cost-of-living crisis has driven many consumers to look at ways to save money, with a quarter of people (24%) saying that they need to find a cheaper alternative to buying a phone brand new. Meanwhile, four in 10 (40%) people considering a refurbished phone believe that brand new handsets have simply become too expensive.

There are undoubtedly savings to be had by choosing a refurbished phone. Yet there are still some sceptics out there. Despite passing the same quality checks as new handsets, two-fifths of Brits (39%) would not consider buying a refurbished handset. Of these, a third (32%) fear that the handset could arrive faulty and over a quarter (28%) are concerned about the battery life of refurbished models.

Says Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com:

“With budgets being squeezed more than ever, buying a new top-of-the-range phone might not be a priority for many consumers right now.

“Choosing a premium refurbished device is an easy way to get your hands on the phone you want, at a price you can afford, and not have to sacrifice on its quality and condition.

“Buying refurbished is also an easy way to be more eco-friendly, giving a pre-owned phone a fresh lease of life and cutting the e-waste produced from buying a new device. It also encourages more mobile consumers to get into the habit of recycling and reusing handsets.

“Our research shows millions of people are considering buying a refurbished phone in the near future and we expect more people to make the switch soon.”

Find out which refurbished phone deals are available at Uswitch here. 

Chris Price
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